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Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I just went out on my own as a carpenter/installer about a month ago and it seems like virtually every job I get the customer wants a fairly detailed design of the project. This makes total sense, but it's something I've never had to deal with being an employee for so many years. I just showed up and started working.
Since I never went to design skills and have no actual skills, and especially since I don't have a drafting table or tools, I think it's time I started learned a CAD program.
My wife is a designer and has most of them already installed on our computers.

So I put it to you gentlemen, if I were going to begin working on learning a CAD program, which do you feel would be most beneficial to somebody who designs and builds bookcases, built-ins, benches, etc?

Thanks for your time, gents.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I've been very happy with sketch up. Free, lots of online tutorials. I like how you kind of build things in the same way a carpenter would. It's not a CAD program but it works for me.

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson
I just went out on my own as a carpenter/installer about a month ago and it seems like virtually every job I get the customer wants a fairly detailed design of the project. This makes total sense, but it's something I've never had to deal with being an employee for so many years. I just showed up and started working.
Since I never went to design skills and have no actual skills, and especially since I don't have a drafting table or tools, I think it's time I started learned a CAD program.
My wife is a designer and has most of them already installed on our computers.

So I put it to you gentlemen, if I were going to begin working on learning a CAD program, which do you feel would be most beneficial to somebody who designs and builds bookcases, built-ins, benches, etc?

Thanks for your time, gents.
Start with SketchUp, it's free and so versatile. When I started I looked for software and spent more than I'm comfortable admitting, but I go back to SketchUp every time. It's easy to use, so many tutorials.

I do a lot of bathrooms and kitchens, for that I usually bring in a designer, but for layouts, built ins, sometimes even decks, I use SketchUp.

A lot of the simple drawings I have to submit for permits I hand sketch then transfer to SketchUp.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Ask your wife, if she has a lot of them
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Another vote for Sketchup as a starting point then Chief Architect.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Yeah, I've been dinking around with SketchUp for a bit.

Just wanted to see if there was a resounding vote for AutoCAD or 3DMax or whatever from the building community.

Trying to design with my wife is like trying to build with an architect. Literally. I have trouble conveying what is important when bidding a job to her and she has trouble dumbing design concepts down for me.
The real trouble though is exactly this current situation. She's at work and I'm at home taking hours to draw a bookcase that she could have knocked out in 5 minutes. This must end!

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


You should go with Autodesk Revit or Solid Works if your looking at doing actual design work. Sketchup is really too dumbed down for doing a full design and you can't plot worth a damn or follow CAD standards. Like Sketchup, Autodesk 3DS Max is more of a general-use 3d modeling program, albeit much more robust than Sketchup, and more difficult to use .

In other words Sketchup/3d max are for making pretty pictures while Revit/solid works are for doing actual design work. You can import a Revit or Solid works model into Sketchup and Render it there if you want to make a conceptual rendering.

EDIT:
Lazily, I didnt read your whole post. Sketchup would work fine for designing book shelves...

Last edited by Civil Headache; 03-11-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Id start with sketchup.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Civil Headache View Post
You should go with Autodesk Revit or Solid Works if your looking at doing actual design work. Sketchup is really too dumbed down for doing a full design and you can't plot worth a damn or follow CAD standards. Like Sketchup, Autodesk 3DS Max is more of a general-use 3d modeling program, albeit much more robust than Sketchup, and more difficult to use .

In other words Sketchup/3d max are for making pretty pictures while Revit/solid works are for doing actual design work. You can import a Revit or Solid works model into Sketchup and Render it there if you want to make a conceptual rendering.

EDIT:
Lazily, I didnt read your whole post. Sketchup would work fine for designing book shelves...
Eh, don't feel bad, I barely read my posts.

Wife has AutoCad, 3D Max, Illustrator, etc. She can do some incredible stuff with them, but unless one of you came up with a solid reason for me not to use sketchup that's what I'm going to invest my time with.
I just wanted to attempt to cover my bases in case the tradesmen all unanimously said, "Definitely don't use sketchup because unlike other programs, it can't do X."

Thanks for all the replies. Last night I successfully made a 2x4 at 8 and 16' lengths. By this weekend I'll have a whole lumberyard.
In case anybody else is as remedial as I am, did you know that you can import trim profiles from many millwork companies' websites?
Useful and free!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


My old man uses the latest version of Soft Plan. He says Auto Cad would be better for cabinet drawings.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


yeah SU will never work for a carpenter!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I have used autocad quite a bit....but not quickly for proposals. I use CAD for shop drawings of the plans so I can build things more accurately and faster.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:36 PM   #13
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I've also used SolidBuilder. Kinda spendy and not all that render powerful. But for framing....it does pretty well.

I did an apartment complex in Junction City, KS. SB tracked every stick of lumber and generated a separate page drawing for each wall.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I trust AutoCad the most
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:57 PM   #15
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


AutoCad is an industry standard but has a big learning curve. Sketch up has a quicker learning curve.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #16
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
My old man uses the latest version of Soft Plan. He says Auto Cad would be better for cabinet drawings.
AutoCad alone works great for cabinet & shop drawings - AutoCad Architecture 201# is prime for construction drawings.

Anybody round here try TurboCad? Did a review for CGarchitect for V9 pro (long time ago), it was pretty good. Would have jumped on it had I not been so $$$ vested in AutoDesk

Current TurboCad low end version for 40$ may not be a bad solution for basic Architectural drawings.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #17
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Yeah I've heard of turbo cad, my estimator uses it. He creates rebar fab/shop drawings with it, also does foundation drawings.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:53 PM   #18
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


Yes I used Turbocad till V14 and bagged it for Sketchup.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:08 AM   #19
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I can't believe TurboCad is still around.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:55 AM   #20
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Re: Most Useful CAD Program For A Carpenter?


I would suggest to the OP that he look at the Home Designer Pro series of programs from Chief Architect.

Andy.

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